Old Inventory Barley Wine - Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Inventory Barley WineOld Inventory Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
89
very good

37 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.9%
Wants: 33
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: flexabull on 02-01-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a modest head that leaves a reasonable amount of lacing behind

Smell: Toffee, tobacco, brown sugar, bananas and, unfortunately, some Sherry notes

Taste: Toffee, brown sugar and a hint of bananas, up front, with a tobacco hop character and Sherry flavor developing by mid-palate; while there is a mellow barley malt flavor underneath, the tobacco hop harshness overwhelms in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; rather thin for the style

Overall: Not sure how old this beer is, but it is time to drink up, as the oxidation is taking its toll; there is a nice barleywine underneath, but the raw tobacco character from the hops makes this one a challenge to enjoy

Thanks, joeneugs, for the opportunity

Photo of beerMeh
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of KidRagnarok
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Devi0us
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle date, Vintage unknown. Poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a dark dingy brown with a short-lived 1 finger khaki head. Minimal lacing left on glass as I consumed this hometown brew.

S- The smell of dark fruit and brown sugar hit your nose like it was a boxing speed bag. 

T- This tastes just like it smells. Dark fruit and Caramel to start off but add in a bit of banana to the equation. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M - This beer is full bodied with medium carbonation.

O- Not bad for a hometown Barley Wine. Very drinkable and a small price tag. Although I have had better, I would not hesitate to pick up one of these Bad Boys the next time I see it.

Photo of kaseydad
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label states this beer can be cellared for years of enjoyment…..I couldn’t wait that long. +1 for the label. Hottie Central. The brew pours a beautiful brown that magically turns to burgundy when brought into the light. Beige creamy head which turns into a ring around the glass. The foamy head easily comes back when agitated. Sticky sweet cotton candy aroma with some plum, prunes and orange in the mix. Malty taste with a nice spicy hop bite to it. A slight taste of prune juice also comes to mind. Big full bodied mouthfeel. Overall this was a tough bomber @ 11.3% but I had fun putting it down. Smooth drinking and very worthy of a session. I would like to see how this matures with time. Good value.

Photo of mikeyv35
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 05/06/2011
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glass: Tulip

*A thank you goes to David(popery) for giving me the opportunity to sample this brew!

Pours a brown mahoghany in color w/ a 1/3 finger off-white head that quickly dissipates, leaving light lacing. Aromas of carmel/toffee drenched dark fruits(plum, fig, raisin), and a touch of earthiness. The taste was much the same as the nose. The flavors opened with caramel/toffee up front, followed by dark rich fruits, and finished w/ ever so mild hop bite. Despite not having a pronouced hop bite, this brew is well balanced and never became cloying at any point. Mouthfeel was thin-medium bodied. This is my only knock on the brew, would have liked this to be a little more still and w/ slightly more body. For 11.3% ABV, this is amazingly easy to drink! I have never had a big beer such as this w/ a more well hidden ABV. I upped the score a bit on the mouthfeel to compensate for the drinkability score that I cannot give(which would have been a 5.0).

Overall, a pleasure to sample. Glad David hooked me up w/ 2 more bottles to age. My prediction is that this brew will transform from a good/solid English Barleywine, into a fantastic maybe even benchmark of the style w/ 2-3 years in the cellar. Definately seek this brew out and purchase a bunch to age.

Photo of peacebone116
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, I believe, served into oversized wine glass.

A: Muddy brown with limited tan head that quickly fades but leaves lace on he edge. Lots of carbonation throughout the body.

N: Sweet molasses and raisin bread.

T/M: Very fruity--dark fruits like plum, a bit of raisins, and figs--very prune-like. Good carbonation, but very smooth. Not much of a hop note, but it still tastes great and feels excellently balance--the fruit notes are not too overwhelmingly sweet--because there is a slight spice--like black pepper--that balances this one out.

This beer is very drinkable. Initially, I assumed this beer to be around 9.25%abv, but was shocked to see it clock in at 11.3%! It goes down dangerously fast due to its great flavor.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with a tight, thin head of bone. A placid surface quickly cleared and a few dots of lacing was the best retention to be found.

Aromatics lead off with ripe malt, dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of booziness. Hints of cherries, whiskey, leather, and toffee follow through.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a grippy, slickish mouthfeel.

Dark chocolate, plump, juicy malt, and ripe fruit start the palate. Boozy and fruity with plenty of juicy malt.

Finishes with hints of whisky, vanilla, nuts, fruit, and plenty of sweet, dark caramel.

Tasty Barleywine. The whisky/boozy note makes me wonder if there was a barrel aged bit mixed in.

Photo of billab914
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a very dark brown color, but showed some mahogany highlights when held up to the light. The head was scattered across the top of the beer, but left some nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a a big malty profile to it. Lots of caramel present with with some dark fruits present as well. Raisins and plum like flavors come through in the maltiness. Just a bit of the hops show through as well.

The taste is similar to the aroma suggests with the malty sweetness taking center stage. Caramel and dark fruits play a big part in the taste, but there is also a slight roasty, coffee, bitterness coming through that prevents it from being too sweet. Everything comes together pretty nicely in the taste and makes for some great flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with modest carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a an excellent barleywine overall. It had some great malty, sweet flavors but was also relatively balanced with some roasty and bitter hoppiness coming through. Very good beer overall.

Photo of Offa
4.97/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a simply outstanding barleywine, complex and exceedingly smooth and drinkable, especially considering the abv of 11.3%, since it is not overly boozy at all. It is currently among the absolute best barleywines I've had. I had the 2009 vintage just on Hallowe'en 2010.

Faintly hazy deep red-amber, it has a medium-big, creamy tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, foamy top, which eventually thins to a foamy ring. It leaves a few weak wisps of lace.

Aroma is rich, full-bodied and complex with a lot of wood, dark figs, sweet fermtned dark fruits with a light whisky quality,fermenting molasses, baked apples, and dark toast.

Taste is spicey wood, zesty faint licorice, molasses-ginger bread, prunes, earth, light soured fruits, a hint of dark toast, a warming whisky quality spiciness and a light zesty-juicy yeastiness. It is very complex and balanced, with the various elements bright and intermeshing exceedingly well. Alcohol provides a smooth, spicey warmth but the high abv is not remotely obvious. It leans slightly to sweet side. Feel is full and creamy, but lively, and it is not truly oily. It is full of flavour and complexity but wonderfully well balanced and smooth.

Photo of armock
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a brown color with a thin tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a very sweet caramel malt nose with some dark fruit

T - Follows the nose starts off with sweet caramel malt then the dark fruits come out fishes with a touch of alcohol

M - This beer has a full body with medium carbonation to it

D - For what it is and the abv this is a very drinkable for a Barleywine it tastes very good making it easy to drink a little too fast worth picking up if you see it around

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sent as an extra, opened at a recent tasting. Beer is dark brown and clear with a thin head that doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. Beer is lowly carbonated.

The aroma is malty / caramely. It smells pretty good.

Beer is medium bodied and a little creamy. Its malty sweet and finishes sweet. Its nice overall. Nothing too interesting or special though. I would drink it again but I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to drabmuh for opening this up.

Pours a nice caramel color with an off white head. Nose brings forward some lint cherries, a bit of citrus, caramel, and dates. Taste integrates the flavors but it does not have the depth I expect from the best in this style. Feel is quite nice and creamy and this drinks quite well. I wouldn't mind have a bottle or two to cellar.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from K&L Wines. Bottle advertised a GABF medal so it seemed worth a try. Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.

Super dark body that looks black if it weren't for hues of amber towards the edges. One finger beige head that exhibits good retention. Some decent lacing.

Smells of caramel and toffee some raisins and figs. Also a faint whiff of leafy/grassy hops.

Tastes of caramel/toffee, raisins, and figs. Then a resinous bitterness with a really nice balanced toffee/caramel and resin finish.

The mouthfeel is a tad light for such a big beer. Carbonation is pretty spot on, on the higher end of low carbonation. Smooth, but assertive with a nice bite at the end.

Quite quaffable and easy to put away. Alcohol is almost unnoticeable.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with one finger of tan head which fades fast. Caramel, roasty, and fruity aroma.

Cocoa finish, subtle roasted malt, caramel/toffee sweetness balanced perfectly by the hop bitterness present. Dried figs, apricots, and dates come to play; flavors mesh well. Full bodied and medium-high carbonation. Slick tongue coating. Alcohol heat exerts itself. Roasted malt adds complexity.

Opinion: Very balanced and interesting barleywine. Alcohol heat is robust but not boozy, yet aroma is rather unimpressive, however the taste is spot on. A tasty barleywine indeed.

Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ipa247 for sending this one out.

Poured into Stone Old Guardian Glass.

Pours a light layer of light tan head. Fades down fast leaving slight splattered lace. Color is a dark ruby hued brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty with lots of sweet notes. Caramel malt, toffee notes, dried fruits, plums, raisins. It smells like it has some barrel aging going on. A very nice and warm aroma.

Taste: Rich and malty with sweet dried fruits. Cherries, raisins, plums. Caramel malts show. A bit of heat as well. Lots of nice flavors, bit a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: Warm, smooth, and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends malty with a touch of booze showing.

Overall, a very solid b-wine that I was happy to try. A lot of great flavors with a nice balance to it. Thank Jeff for sending this one out. I was really glad to try this one! Fairly drinkable.

Photo of Ghenna
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up from the Davis foods co-op for about ten bucks. Cute chick with partially exposed boobs and a label that read barley wine made for a combination that I had little choice but to buy.

Beer pours brownish amber with ~1/5 finger of head that completely dissipates after two minutes. Nose is uncomplicated and can be summed up in one word: sweet. Malty sweetness, simple and pure.

Fortunately the the sweetness is mostly in the nose, because if it followed into the taste the beer would be cloyingly sugary. Essentially though, the initial taste on the tongue is malt sweet, with a burned sugar aftertaste that lingers on my tongue after I've swallowed it. Despite it being 11%, it only elicits a mildly smushy face from my wife- which is to say that for rest of us, it is barely noticeable.

All told, I'm not a huge fan even though I consider BW to be my favorite style. I mean aside from the sweet, there just isn't a lot to it. This might be because I'm more accustomed to BWs that are more hop balanced like Gnarleywine or Bigfoot or Old Guardian. Not a bad beer though, just not one I'd pay near $10 for.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep amber with thin tan head. The aroma is pure molasses mixing with cherries, figs and prunes as well as chocolate chip cookie, grainy malts and earthiness. The taste is smooth English barleywine with prunes, figs, cherries, pears and plums. Smooth sweet delicious malts rounded out by a bit of musty earthiness bring this to the finish. A dandy English BW.

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Old Inventory Barley Wine from Valley Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.